After an intriguing Indian Premier League season that saw an intense tussle for the top-four slots, we are now at the door steps of the 2019 IPL playoffs. The IPL will see the Mumbai Indians (MI), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Delhi Capitals (DC) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) compete for the 2019 IPL Championship.
The first Qualifier will be held in Chennai on Tuesday evening (Midnight AEST) and will see the Mumbai Indians take on the Chennai Super Kings. By virtue of finishing in the top two, these sides have earned a chance to play the first Qualifier. While the winner makes the Final, the loser will still get a chance to play the second Qualifier for another shot at reaching the grand stage.
The overall head-to-head record reads 15-11 in favour of Mumbai, who have won both of the encounters against the Super Kings in league matches this season. With five of their bowlers taking more than ten wickets each, Mumbai will feel that they have the weapons to counter the attacking batsmen of Chennai.
Hardik Pandya has been the biggest asset for Mumbai this season and he has won many moments for them in IPL 2019. With Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers providing the muscle in the middle order, MI will hope that their top-order can provide solid platform to launch from.
Chennai have based their tournament on strong bowling performances with four of their bowlers among the top 15 in IPL 2019. None of their batsmen made it to the top 15, but with spinners leading the roost, CSK found their groove to stop the other sides in the tournament.
CSK have also been the best catching side of the tournament (72 out of 82 attempts caught). With so much focus on their spin bowling, CSK will hope that the Chepauk conditions will keep suiting their bowlers.
Hardik Pandya has scored 373 runs this season at a SR of 197.35. Most of his runs have come in big shots and he has wriggled Mumbai out of tough situations in many games. His bowling is also coming good at the right time, which is a big boost.
MS Dhoni has played the saviour role for CSK this season, scoring 368 runs at an average of 122.66. His record against MI is excellent as well, with the CSK captain averaging 51 against them in seven knockout matches.
Jasprit Bumrah has always been the go-to bowler for Rohit Sharma. With 17 wickets to his name and at an ER of 6.78, the unique pace bowler has proven once again that he is the best with the ball for Mumbai.
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